UMSL Business Blog

What Working from Home Taught Me

By Mona Sabau

Working at home is GREAT…. till your cat vomits on your keyboard!

The current situation all around the world is uniting us by wearing our sweatpants/PJs and struggling to figure this whole thing out. Some studies say that we tend to be more productive when we have the luxury of working from home. I am a graduate student who has had about seven years of work experience and with a year of working from home. It took awhile for me to adapt, but I finally got it… I think!

Here are 8 tips I would like to share with you:


Start working when you feel you are your most productive self

For me that’s in the “morning” at 11 a.m. so that I can have the rest of the day to binge watch the new shows that are being released on Netflix and Hulu. I can even watch that documentary I heard of, but “never had the time for.”

Pretend like you are going to the office

Wear something other than your pajamas and your fuzzy socks. You don’t want to fall asleep. I personally put on my jeans, a nicer top, and tidy up my hair in case I need to hop into a Zoom meeting.

Choose a well-lit, dedicated working space

It will help you stay focused and have a familiar place that you associate work with.

Build a routine

I am not a big breakfast person; I prefer making chai lattes or a shake in the morning and just start working. Since we are all quarantined and need to feed ourselves, try to think of what you will have for lunch the night before. It will save you time so you can get back to work after lunch.

Silence all your social media accounts

You and I know that there’s always an impulse to check your notifications.

Build a new playlist.

Ask your friends to send theirs, you might enjoy it or just listen to “Lo-fi hip hop radio – Beats to study/relax to.” Try to discover new artists so it keeps your brain excited.

Familiarize yourself with new collaboration tools.

I’m sure you have all heard of Zoom and G-suite by now. But I would like to share a few more that I myself have discovered recently: Trello, Asana, and Teamweek. This article shows a few examples of great applications/websites you will probably need, including the ones I mentioned.

Stay Active.

I am a bit paranoid about going for a run or a bike ride nowadays. The way I do it is most days I open up all the windows in my room for some fresh air and use “Headspace” the app to meditate and start the day out right. After I get work done, I either take an exercise or yoga class that they have. I promise you… you will feel a bit saner! Checkout their website and enjoy the 2-week free trial they have.